Logistics is defined as the commercial activity of transporting goods to customers with detailed organisation – and an overall process managing resources, storage, and movement to the final destination.
What is textile logistics? Textile logistics is principally a solution for handling, distributing, and storing textiles, with management identifying potential suppliers and distributors with a view to their accessibility and effectiveness.
The advantage of this process is the streamlining and simplifying of the transportation of goods either in the manufacturing or retailing sector. Find out more about the textile market here…
Types of textile logistics
One of the main functions of the logistics process is to manage inventories resulting in the best means of transport and routes, selecting equipment, processing orders and auditing. The two main types of fashion logistics are:
Inbound logistics – these are focused on sales for manufacturing plants and assembly lines. It involves receiving raw materials or products from a supplier to a warehouse. An effective inbound logistics programme can result in a reduction of overheads, and an increase in sales.
External logistics – these relate to the warehousing of products intended for sale, and getting the goods delivered to their final destination. Activities associated with outbound logistics include the collection and storage of goods and the distributing of products to buyers.
Textile manufacturers and retailers
The textile industry is a time-sensitive one, with both manufacturers and retailers needing to either move raw materials and finished goods from one site to another or moving finished goods in and out of retail stores.
Manufacturers may purchase materials at a high price and find that if the finished goods aren’t moved quickly the price drops and losses are incurred. Manufacturers view logistics as an essential part of the supply chain as it’s used to co-ordinate and monitor resources required to move products in a reliable and cost-effective way.
The retail fashion industry is constantly adapting to new trends to optimise costs and deadlines alongside supplier flexibility and the management of customer demands. Goods have to be supplied that are in demand as they quickly go out of vogue.
These goods all need to reach their destinations on time to avoid affecting any profit margins. The transportation of these goods will often mean crossing entire countries by land, sea, or air.
The importance of textile logistics
Clothing logistics and the supply chain are both essential expenses, and a budget should be set aside to cover these costs. A trusted textile logistics company will assist in the transportation of goods from one location to another and combine all criteria with optimum costs and quality of service.
Qualitative and quantitative performance indicators will measure the response time, customer service, supplier performance, and costs to ensure you get the right textile logistics for your needs. You should expect to receive help with:
- Warehousing – setting up the warehouse with the required space, designing the equipment, and placing the stock
- Packaging – product handling, damage protection, sequences of events and production times
- Managing materials – choosing equipment, picking procedures, selecting suppliers, setting delivery terms, and arranging delivery
- Information organisation – setting control procedures, analysing data, and customs clearance documentation
- The option of a “just in time” system – where the idea is to lower waste and stock storage with an on-demand fast response for the best price
Textile logistics in the workplace
This is an internal solution for handling, distributing and storing work clothes in the work environment. Textile logistics here are aimed specifically at industries where employees have to change to a special set of protective clothing before they can begin work. This is typically in healthcare or food production.
An optimum logistics solution will ensure efficient and smooth garment distribution with the delivery and return of work clothes, essential when clothes are needed to be changed on a daily basis. In the food industry work garments are designed to protect the product and have detailed regulations on storage and hygiene with the use of closed textile cabinets.
Industry guidelines must be adhered to and all clothing will be marked with a Radio Frequency Identification Chip (RFID) in the hem or waistband to enable control of the garments to be taken. An automated textiles logistics solution will allow staff to collect or leave garments at a pick-up or return station located within the business.
Changing rooms and interactive wardrobes may be provided which also reduces the risk of loss or hoarding, queueing, lack of appropriate sizes, and general disorder. For larger companies with more space, the option of a conveyor to bring individual clothing on a hanger after processing an ID card may be an option. There’s a range of solutions that can easily be adapted for different working conditions.
Textile logistics will give regular statistics and also deliver control of:
- Investment and reinvestment in textiles
- Existing stock with regards to washing, repairing, and worn-out garments
- Turnover and identification of clothes that don’t get worn often
- Hygiene and cleanliness classifications
- Traceability of every individual garment